Lawsuit challenges electronic voting machines used in Shelby Co.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A federal lawsuit contends the electronic voting machines used in the August elections are "fundamentally flawed and unreliable" and prevented Shelby County voters from casting their ballots in private.

The suit was filed electronically yesterday against the county's election commissioners and officials of Diebold Election Systems, It is an amended version of a complaint originally filed in July by a Memphis minister and four other plaintiffs.

Diebold Election Systems is a subsidiary of giant ATM maker Diebold Inc.

The suit claims the Diebold AccuVote Machine is subject to tampering and denies voters the right to cast secret ballots. It also contends that election workers weren't properly trained on using the new equipment.

The suit seeks class-action status on behalf of all county voters, asks that the election be ruled invalid and asks for unspecified monetary damages.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)